With SP-BSP pact sealed, all eyes now on Mayawati’s birthday celebrations on Tuesday
According to BSP leaders familiar with the developments, the party has finalised candidates on 38 seats and Mayawati may release the list of candidates on her birthday.Updated: Jan 14, 2019 22:52 IST
After the formal announcement of an electoral alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Saturday, all eyes are now on the 63rd birthday celebrations of BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday.
BSP has announced to celebrate the occasion on January 15 as ‘Jan Kalyankari Diwas’.
According to BSP leaders familiar with the developments, the party has finalised candidates on 38 seats and Mayawati may release the list of candidates on her birthday.
However, a few BSP leaders claimed that the party would announce candidates after a meeting between SP and BSP leaders in Delhi on January 16-17.
Though Mayawati has earlier announced that she would not contest Lok Sabha election, a BSP leader on condition of anonymity said she could be in the fray from Bijnore or Nagina seat in west UP or Ambedkar Nagar in the east.
BSP zonal coordinator Akhilesh Ambedkar said the main birthday function would be organised in the state unit office with senior party leaders and office-bearers. “Members of district units will celebrate behenji’s birthday in their respective districts,” he said.
According to party leaders, Mayawati will celebrate her birthday with state unit leaders and workers in Lucknow in the morning and will leave for Delhi in the evening for celebrations with alliance partners, party office-bearers and family members.
“After announcing that her party would maintain distance from the Congress, ‘behenji’ (Mayawati) is working towards the formation of a non-Congress, non-BJP third front with regional parties which have strong base in their respective states,” a BSP leader, who did not wish to be named, said.
“The pre-poll alliance with SP was a step in that direction,” he added.
Watch: Can the BSP-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh upset BJP’s 2019 arithmetic?
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav also met BSP chief Mayawati at her residence in Lucknow on Sunday.
BSP has already finalised alliance with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) led by Abhay Chautala in Haryana and the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) of former chief minister Ajit Jogi in Chhattisgarh.
“BSP had also contested Karnataka assembly election in alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) and played a pivotal role in the formation of the HD Kumaraswamy government. The leaders of regional parties in Jharkhand and Bihar are also in touch with her,” he said.
He added that during her stay in Delhi, Mayawati would meet the leaders of alliance partners to finalise candidates in various states. “After a week-long stay in Delhi, she will return to Lucknow to review preparations for Lok Sabha election,” he added.
The leader said Mayawati would convene a meeting of party leaders, office-bearers and leaders of bhai-chara committee to finalise the election strategy.
“In the first week of February, SP-BSP is likely to launch the election campaign by holding joint rallies by Mayawati and Akhilesh who may address at least two dozen public meetings across the state,” he said.
After losing 2007 assembly election, BSP has been celebrating Mayawati’s birthday as ‘Jankalyankari Diwas’. “The party leaders help the needy, poor and handicapped. They also visit Dalit villages and hospitals to distribute fruits and blankets,” said another BSP leader.
First Published: Jan 14, 2019 12:25 IST